The record breaking heatwave and England’s fantastic run in the World Cup has seen blood donations drop dramatically, prompting an urgent NHS appeal.
O negative blood stock levels in particular are running low, the heath service has warned.
Donation centres around the country have seen a drop in the number of people giving blood, especially when England have been playing – with donations dropping 20 per cent when the Three Lions took on Sweden in the quarter final.
On normal warm weather days, blood donations have often been around five per cent to ten per cent lower than expected.
The combined effect of the warm weather and the football has cost the NHS around 2,000 blood donations in recent weeks.
That has left an urgent need for people with the valuable O negative group to donate at their nearest donor centre in the next few days.
Stock levels are low and will fall below three days as the hot weather continues.
NHS Blood and Transplant now urgently needs support to ensure hospital patients get the O negative blood they need.
Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: ‘The long spell of sunshine has been great in many ways but some people have chosen to stay in the sun instead of giving blood, and some people haven’t been hydrated enough to donate safely.
‘England’s excellent world cup has also meant football fans are spending their time enjoying the games rather than donating blood.
‘However hospital patients urgently need blood every day of the year, whatever the weather.
‘Nationally, we aim to have six days of worth of blood stocks but today we only have three days of O negative blood.
‘O negative is especially important because it is the universal donor group which can be given to almost anyone in emergencies.
‘We need donors with other blood groups to keep their appointments usual but this urgent appeal is specific to O negative.
‘If you are O negative and you can give blood, please donate now.
‘If you are an existing donor with O negative blood and you can’t see a convenient appointment time, you can walk in and donate without needing to make an appointment, or call 0300 123 23 23, and we will book an appointment for you.
‘Please don’t delay - we need you today.’
Where can I donate?
- Function Room, Mountbatten Centre, Alexandra Park, Twyford Avenue, Portsmouth, PO2 9QA
- The Victory Lounge, Fratton Park, Anson Road, Portsmouth, PO4 8RA
- Cosham Community Centre, Wootton Street, Cosham, Portsmouth, PO6 3AP
- Thorngate Halls, Bury Road, Gosport, PO12 3PX
- Waterlooville Community Centre, 10 Maurepas Way, Waterlooville, PO7 7AY
- Hayling Island Community Centre, Station Road, Hayling Island, PO11 0HB
- Portchester Community Centre, Westlands Grove, Portchester,PO16 9AD
Who can donate?
Sometimes it is not possible for you to give blood, or you may be asked to wait for a period of time before donating again.
If you are in good health, you should be fine to donate blood.
But if you are feeling under the weather it’s best that you wait until you feel better before you give blood.
You must be completely healed or recovered from any infection for at least 14 days before you give blood.
If you are pregnant you are not able to give blood. If you had a blood transfusion during your pregnancy or at delivery then you will not be able to become a blood donor.
If you are currently on medication, whether or not you can donate will depend on the medication you are receiving as well as the condition for which you are being treated.
For people who have recently had tattoos or body piercings you may have to wait before you can donate again.
It is possible to donate blood if you have high blood pressure or low blood pressure. However, there are some restrictions.
The NHS does not prevent people from becoming blood donors based on their sexuality.
There are some restrictions for blood donors who take part in activities deemed risk behaviours by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs who advise UK ministers and health departments.